The Prostate Cancer Foundation in conjunction with the Cancer Council have released a new set of guidelines to provide clarity in determining the best pathway for detection, investigation and management of Prostate Cancer.
An expert panel including GPs, urologists, public health experts, pathologists, oncologists and allied health professionals have developed the evidence based guidelines. They have been endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
Previously there has been some disagreement between urologists and public health doctors about the role of PSA testing. PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) is a protein made by the prostate which can be raised in a number of different prostate diseases, including cancer.
As urologists, we have always advocated that PSA testing should only be done in a man who is going to benefit from the diagnosis and treatment of Prostate Cancer. The definition of a ‘man who is going to benefit from the diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer’ depends on a number of factors, including the patient’s age, medical history and attitudes towards different treatment options.
Careful interpretation of the PSA test is best done by an experienced urologist who is aware of the individual circumstances of their patient and who is familiar with the other non-cancerous disorders that can cause a raised PSA test. After consideration of these factors the urologist can then advise on whether further investigation is necessary. Our aim is to minimise over-investigation and unneccesary treatment in those cases where it is not needed, while still identifying those men who will need treatment and benefit from it.
The new guidelines represent an important achievement as they represent an concensus amongst all health professionals on how best to address prostate cancer.
The ultimate aim of these guidelines is to provide the best treatment for those that need it, prevent over diagnosis and unnecessary treatment and most importantly, to decrease the mortality rate from prostate cancer.
Prostate cancer is the most common non- skin cancer diagnosed in Australia. 22,000 men are diagnosed with Prostate Cancer in Australia every year and over 3000 men die from it.
Read the full guidelines here.
© Perth Urology Clinic 2016